Chinese Schools Tests Students For Coronavirus Before Classes
Chinese tech giant Sina set up a special room in its Beijing office for workers to be tested for the coronavirus. A school took swab samples from students before allowing them into classrooms. A traveller took the test before a trip to another province.
Companies, schools and individuals across China are lining up to be tested for the virus as the country rises back to normal life after largely taming the epidemic.
Biotech firms are ramping up production of test kits with demand growing despite lingering questions over their accuracy, while the government is pushing for more testing.
E-commerce titans Alibaba and JD have facilitated nucleic acid tests for individuals at a number of designated places — including two Beijing hotels — for prices ranging between 200 yuan ($28) and 260 yuan ($36).
JD said its reservation page has had more than three million views since the service was launched in mid-April.
And at Sina, the parent company of China’s Twitter-like Weibo platform, employees can get tested whenever they want in a specially repurposed room.
Where most testing had previously focused on those with symptoms, especially in the central city of Wuhan where the virus first emerged, demand is now soaring across China.
Beijing has seen some of the most strident demand, with many taking the test before business trips, and a drive-through service set up in one of the capital’s districts.
At a private school run by the Hailiang Group in Zhuji, eastern Zhejiang province, some 20,000 students and teachers have taken the test since April 13.
Samples were taken from students on the playground as they stood 1.5 metres (five feet) apart from each other. They were only authorised to go to class after getting a negative result.